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Positive and Negative: Elmo In Grouchland

Discussion in 'Classic Sesame Street' started by Powerstars, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    That's exactly what I said earlier in the thread, along with the inclusion of pre-recorded audience reactions, it's one of the things that breaks the movie... it's just not necessary.
  2. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Positive: Ernie and Bert's intro and interuptions. The only reason why it's still in my DVD collection. I'm a HUGE Ernie and Bert fan. :p:( Plus Dave Golez has a character cameo :)
    Also I got to visit The Muppet Workshop back in 1998 and seen some of the puppets right before they started to film which was really cool :)

    Negative: Too Much Elmo (To put it nicely lol). Not enough classic characters. I liked Follow That Bird Better.

    Also the unnecessary toilet humor that most G rated films now a days get for cheap ratings. Toilet Humor doesn't really work with The Muppets. Don't get me wrong, I love scat humor when it's done right, I love Ren & Stimpy and Beavis & Butt-head, etc. But it just doesn't work with Muppets because they are more classic character / slapstick comedy.

    And just one more note for the record, I'm terrafide of how the NEW Sesame movie that's being rumored currently is going to be. Especially now a days on Sesame where there is more Elmo, Zoe, Rosita, Abby Kadabby, Baby Bear, and all the other characters like that and not enough of the classic characters like Ernie and Bert, Grover, Cookie Monster, Count Von Count, Honkers, Dingers, Sherlock Hemlock, Harry Kneeslaper, The Salesman, Little Chrissy, Little Jerry, Don Music (please let him slam his head into the piano. :) ) lol
    Dominicboo1 likes this.
  3. Dominicboo1

    Dominicboo1 Well-Known Member

    Does anyone else provide sarcastic comments to these movies or even T.V. shows like things the characters wouldn't expect you to say.
    MuppetSpot likes this.
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    A couple things.

    Grover is on Sesame Street quite a bit now. Even has his own segment, Super Grover 2.0. The lack of Grover was attributed to the lack of Frank Oz for years, but once those roles were recast, the characters came back full force. Grover did get a Macy's parade Balloon back in 2004 or so. Even Elmo didn't have one. Grover's all over the place, as he should be.

    Secondly, I can't begrudge Sesame Street for not having old characters, some that aren't even officially recast or officially retired any more than I can say about Muppet projects leading up to The Muppets. Characters are lost when performers pass on, leave the show, or just get sick of the characters. Writers run out of ideas for certain characters that only have one major joke going for them. Stuff like that happens.

    But for that matter, Little Chrissy, Harvey Kneeslapper, and Don Music weren't exactly in FTB either. While I'd like to see some silent cameos by some older characters, I'd rather have the story revolve around core group of characters... Ernie and Bert, Cookie Monster, Snuffy, Big Bird, Elmo, Zoe, Telly, Grover, The Count, Elmo, Oscar, and like that. Just like FTB was (minus Zoe and Elmo, of course). As I've been saying, EIG's problem wasn't Elmo being the star... it was refusing to let Elmo be a co-star, and make him go the most of the movie alone. While Big Bird did go off on his own in FTB, we at least had little subplots of the other characters, Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World style. Not something where they're dumped in jail for a huge chunk of the movie.

    If I could improve EIG with one thing, it would be to give Elmo a travel companion. Oscar really should have joined Elmo in that film. It would have been a great buddy flick if it was.

    Of course, if SW wants this movie to be measurably successful, they need to pull a "The Muppets" and work the nostalgia angle. Have some of the rarer characters as cameos, speaking or non-speaking, in various parts of the film. Give Grover, Count, Oscar, Ernie, Bert, Big Bird and Cookie significant roles, preferably crucial to the plot. Don't make an "Elmo" movie, make a Sesame Street movie with Elmo in it.
    Duke Remington and SSLFan like this.
  5. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I'd like to check out some of the Super Grover 2.0, but I'm not sure if it's like the classic Super Grover skits from the 70s where Grover things he's being helpful but instead the other character figures things out for themselves. lol I didn't really care for the Global Grover stuff much, except for one with the Russian Danger Muppets dancing and pushing Grover to go off screen squishing him inbetween them. I thought that was funny. Spider-Monster I've seen a clip, it looks super funny but I could only find a clip and not the whole thing. I get super excited if I heard that Frank Oz did something new for Sesame because it's the only time he's performing now a days.

    But yeah, I totally understand what you mean about EIG. Elmo is a part of Sesame for years, even though I prefer other characters. But it just seems to be a bit too much promotion of the little red monster. Sure Big Bird was promoted a lot back in the 70s but it wasn't like he was the star of the show, all the Muppets on SS were along with the human cast, there were no stars. But now it seems to me that Elmo took over the show a little bit among Abby Kadaby and Zoe and Rosita. Not trying to sound negative about the current SS but one of the things I miss from the classic ones was the funny characters. The dysfunctional, decently irreverent comedy that used to be in the Muppet sketches. But it seems like times have changed a bit for some reason or another which what was funny back then can't be done today unfortunately. But that's what I loved about SS. Cookie and his out of control desire for cookies, Count and his out of control desire for counting, Ernies zanny parnking games to make Bert end up a fool at the end, Bert yerning for peace and not to be tricked again and of course he gives in after being all stressed out in a "Alright I'll play this game so you can stop and leave me alone" sort of fashion, and Grover's Innocents yet clumsiness (Like you mentioned, he's coming back to the show with either Eric Jacobson or Frank Oz). Also Chris Cerfs Rock music parodies. I miss those. I was listening to The Beetle's Letter B today on my ipod. lol :) Anyway, that's what made the Muppet characters both on SS and TMS so hilarious, they were in some degree disfunctional yet so innocent. And it just seems like SS now doesn't have that compet but instead creating characters for the child to relate too. But I guess it's nothing to blame because that's what happened with Big Bird. He went from this goofy character with googly eyes that kept knocking into everything and falling over to a positive role model for kids to relate to. Like how Big Bird is suppose to be a 6 year old and Elmo 3 and Abby is 2 or something like that. And perhaps that's what SW is trying to do more of, taking the BB aspect to get the children audiences atttention. And of course the whole purpose is educational children's television.

    But I guess what I was saying was what I loved about the show. Still I do like some of the new parodies but not as much as the classic episodes. Personally I would rather see a parody of rock bands then reality TV shows. Still I have to admit, the Justin Bieber Muppet still cracks me up. When I seen that, I was cheering like crazy, FINALLY THEY MADE A MUPPET OF HIM! lol

    But yeah, I liked Follow That Bird better than EIG. My favorite scenes were Ernie and Bert in the Plane and Bert loosing his Bottle Cap Collection and Ernie just singing and annoying Bert, Bert sings along and Ernie was telling Bert that they don't have time to sing now, they got to follow Big Bird. lol Classic

    And the Food Fight in the Grouch Cafe "WHERE'S MY JELLO!" lol I got to watch my DVD of that again some night. lol

    And of course Kermit's cameo which would have been Kermit's final Motion Picture appearance being performed by Jim (1987), unless you count Muppet Vision 3D of course.

    But yeah, the tye ins with the classic characters like that, totally.

    I think Elmo worked best with other characters. I've seen this sketch where Elmo and Grover were Singing Mailmen and annoyed Mr. Johnson and he liked Elmo more then Grover. I thought that was funny. And of course the 80s skits with Elmo and Prarie Dawn in Space and all those funny Kermit & Elmo skits where Elmo annoys Kermit. I laugh and think, THAT'S ELMO, THAT'S HOW ELMO SHOULD BE! lol But then again, just my opinion.
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    There's too much lost potential in not making Grover and Elmo a team. I can't find the one where they're both singing telegrams, but something like that and Another monster at the end of this Book. Something where Grover's a bumbling older brother like figure, willing to share his flawed wisdom to someone who eagerly listens, but does much better on his own.
  7. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    LOL Yeah exactly. I wish they did more of that. Bringing comedy back into Sesame Street. That was sort of the situation with Grover and Elmo singing a Telegram to Mr. Johnson. It could be under the Muppet Wiki Videos because I think it was the first time that Mr. Johnson's name ever came up in a sketch. Grover sings about his Mother in Sinanadi (Not sure of the spelling, sorry about that lol) and he said that his mother isn't from there then Elmo gives it a try and says that she's from Florida and get's very positive feedback which of course Grover is jealous at the end. I really like that situation for Elmo, the little guy who seems to be in everyone's way. Even dating back to the 1980s where he used to drive Kermit (He would call him Mr. Da Fwrog. lol) Crazy. Like how Kermit was trying to deliver a fragile package and Elmo became such a pest that Kermit dropped the package and of course Kermit in his heart as fusterated as he was, he knew he couldn't have a full outburst against him so he was more blunt about it. lol Though one that really cracks me up is Prarie Dawn in Space and Elmo joins too "Oh no, Elmo what are you doing here?" "Oh Elmo is playing police man, would you like Elmo to help you get across the street?" "Elmo your in space, there isn't any road. Now can you leave me to my mission please?" "OH ELMO IS SPACE, ELMO GOT IT NOW" Elmo leaves in a comical floating exit, moments later "ELMO'S A FARMER!" lol Then a cow and farm animals are floating in space. lol Like I mentioned, I just miss the zanny Muppet humor on Sesame Street.

    Speaking of farmer, this reminds me of an episode where Ol' McDonald and his pig are in the movie theaters almost like a parody of Mystery Science Theater where you only see the shadowed outlines of the chairs and they are watching a movie about lizards and they decide to run around the theater yelling and shouting repetedly "LIZARD, LIZARD, LIZARD, LIZARD!" lol Oh God, how I miss that crazy silliness. lol :)
  8. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Just re-watched this film for the first time in about 10-15 years. Thought it was okay. Not spectacular, but it had more good things going for it than I thought it would.

    EIG was co-produced by the Jim Henson Company, and definitely has an extra Henson vibe to it, particularly in the designs of the newer characters.

    A good handful of decent jokes made it into the film, some from the script, but several clearly improvised by the Muppet performers. Joey Mazzarino, in particular, never fails to crack me up as Bug - or any of his characters, for that matter. No matter how you view this movie, there's no denying that the Muppeteers manage to put in really energetic performances throughout.

    And yes, the soundtrack was really nice.

    Gripes about the other Sesame characters (both Muppets and humans) taking an extreme backseat is definitely the fan in me talking. Obviously, this movie was targeted towards the pre-schoolers and their parents (I do feel that there are enough silly moments for them, as well).

    But yeah, part of the reason why I liked FTB so much was because of the ensemble feel to it. Of our main group in Grouchland, we have Oscar, Big Bird, Zoe, Telly, Cookie Monster, Gordon, and Maria. The majority of these characters don't really serve much of a purpose. The rest of the cast is reduced to smaller one to two lines cameos.

    I liked the idea of Ernie and Bert acting as semi-hosts.

    I have to wonder how much 'on set' scenes Frank Oz actually did. Given that he wasn't around much for MFS, I'd say likely not very many. That being said, does anyone else feel Frank's performance is kind of phoned in here? Perhaps it's because of him having to loop his lines without any of his fellow Muppeteers to play off of. Any voice actor will tell you that being in a recording studio without any other actors is tough because you have to create the energy by yourself. Or perhaps he just wasn't that into the script. Maybe a combination of the two, or even something completely different.
  9. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    From what I can tell, Frank was only there for the E&B scenes (except for the one that opens the film).
  10. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    That reminds me, I wonder if that was the case with Steve Whitmire since Ernie only appeared in those scenes with Bert. Because if Steve was available for much of the filming, I feel like it was a missed opportunity to not have Kermit at least make a cameo.

    EDIT: Never mind, I just remembered that Steve was also the singing plant and several other minor characters. So yeah, I guess he was available.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2016
  11. MuppetSpot

    MuppetSpot Well-Known Member

    Also did Dave G. & Bill B. spend much time on set since Bill did a Grouch & Dave did the Giant Chicken or Did they do just a brief cameo roles.
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'd still like to point out that quite a bit of old school fans are baffled an Elmo movie about Elmo had so much Elmo in it.

    And ...uh... Does not compute, I guess?
    gavry3 and Mo Frackle like this.
  13. DePingPong

    DePingPong Well-Known Member

    Wow, I haven't seen Elmo in Grouchland since I was kid, let's see what I can remember.

    -Ernie and Bert throughout the movie.
    -The set for inside Oscar's trashcan was so cool. We finally got to see how huge Oscar's can was.
    -Grouchland was neat

    -Huxley (I really didn't like him, maybe re-watching the movie would change this, as I haven't seen in it in about 15 years.)
    -"Elmo's blanket this, Elmo's blanket that", I felt like there were definitly many more interesting ways to make the build up to Grouchland. But Elmo's only 3 so I guess him going crazy over his blanket fits.
    -Zoe complaining about wanting the blanket all the time

    I really don't remember much from the movie, it could definitely use a Blu-Ray release (as well as FTB...)
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    It deserves, at least, a proper widescreen release. The full frame pan and scan is almost as painful as the full frame version of Ghostbusters. I don't think I've said this for a while, but the reason I hate fullframe versions of movies comes from the fact the elevator scene was butchered so badly, the VHS copies should have came with a coupon for Dramamine. The transitions in EIG gave almost that same level of sea sickness.
  15. mr3urious

    mr3urious Well-Known Member

    At least Follow That Bird got a widescreen release 25 years after it debuted.
  16. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    While both movies were flops, FTB at least garnered a following. EIG has a following of mothers finding an Elmo DVD in the 5 dollar bin. Then again, it could all be because the rerelease of FTB pretty much launched WB's distribution deal for SW's DVDs. Otherwise, I wouldn't have seen WB bothering.

    What it all boils down to for me between FTB vs EIG, FTB is by all means very much a product of the 1980's. It's a very 80's low budget kids' film...yet that lack of a massive budget and more reliance on actual on location shots made it look less dated and artificial than EIG. For what it's worth, FTB is for a slightly older group than EIG was, and somehow FTB treated the film more like a movie than EIG did, as it feels like just an extended TV special with a slightly larger budget. However, that actually works for EIG, but also why it plays better on a small screen (minus the *&%$ pan and scan). EIG looks like a kid's movie from its specific decade. Cleaner, crisper, more colorful. It works for that demographic on that level, but that's the same demographic that gave us Elmo's World, not so much as to capitalize on his popularity, but because the show bored kids at the 40 minute mark.

    So I can see why as a movie that wouldn't have worked so well, despite being made just as the Tickle Me Elmo craze was still happening.
    Mo Frackle likes this.
  17. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Once again, Zoe didn't complain about wanting the blanket: she just simply saw it lying aside, grabbed it to hold for a moment, Elmo got selfish and wanted it back, but Zoe wanted to hold it alittle while long, a tug-of-war ensued, it ripped, and the rest launched the movie. Zoe didn't even really mention the blanket again after that happened.
    Mo Frackle likes this.
  18. Muppet Master

    Muppet Master Well-Known Member

    Yikes, this movie is bad. I remember watching it once when I was younger, and never watching it again. My younger brother seems to enjoy it though. Funny, because on the other hand, I enjoyed FTB a lot and could not get enough of it. The thing that destroys this movie is first off alienating the audience that goes to the theaters. While FTB was made as more of a family movie similar to the first three muppet movies, EIG was a straight-up kids movie, like 3-6 years old, and anyone above the age of 8 would be embarrased to watch it. Instead of bringing their 4 year old to a theater at the expense of them making a scene or getting bored, why not pop in an Elmo VHS or flip on an episode of Sesame Street, problem solved. This is why making kids movies, not family movies, will result in faliure almost all the time. Getting back to the movie, it's just painful to watch, the plot is Elmo loses his blanket, that's it. The other Sesame Street characters do next to nothing, and most of the movie is Elmo whining about his blanket, we get forgetable side characters, and the only redeemable performance is Mandy Patinkin. If FTB is The Muppet Movie then EIG is Muppets From Space, just a terrible movie in my opinion, FTB is so much better.
  19. DePingPong

    DePingPong Well-Known Member

    My bad, haven't seen the movie in long time, didn't remember exactly what went down.
  20. Old Thunder

    Old Thunder Well-Known Member

    I know this is from a few years ago, but as a die-hard Thomas fan, and TATMRR being my all-time favorite movie, I felt I ought to stick up for it. I personally liked Mr. Conductor interacting a bit with the audience, made it a little more interesting in my mind.

    Won't say much about Elmo In Grouchland, it's been a while since I've seen it, and I can only recall that I liked it back when I watched it.
    TheWoodringman likes this.

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